During the confusion of a raid on the Jacob Riis housing project in Manhattan, where Monsegur/Sabu lived and was actively helping the FBI gather evidence on his friends, a New York cop asked Monsegur for his ID.
“Relax," Sabu/Monsegur allegedly replied. "I’m a federal agent. I am an agent of the federal government."
The Smoking Gun, which covered the hearing and Monsegur's failure to appear, pointed out that Sabu was at that time a federal informant, not an agent. That makes claiming to be an agent rather than a snitch when questioned by another law-enforcement agency a crime, though a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
In Manhattan Criminal Court, Judge Diana Boyar agreed to excuse Monsegur's absence and adjourned the case for six months to consider whether it should be dismissed. If Sabu stays out of trouble for that time, TSG, writes, the charge will almost certainly be dropped.
That only applies to the charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer, however.
Sabu has been neither detained nor tried on the charge of impersonating the leader of criminally active hacktivists.
The punishment for that is unlikely to be as drastic as punishments the court could have laid down. However, it's unlikely that charge will be dropped as easily either.
Read more of Kevin Fogarty's CoreIT blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinFogarty. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.